Smart Building Automation Evolution

Timeline linking articles depicting our evolution as an industry updated monthly to reflect today's trends Curated by Ken Sinclair

Reflects back to 1900 but actively starts with birth of DDC in the mid 1970. Starting in about 1999, leading Building Automation professionals were early collaborators in the effort to put real time data in service to better interior comfort and energy efficiency. They recognized their role as catalysts of this paradigm shift and set to work aligning all the necessary people, processes and technologies. Here's a timeline of their achievements. All the thought-leadership articles, commercial announcements, and press releases used to compile this timeline are found in the database of the online magazine;xNLx;This timeline is moving in real time with monthly updates of today's information.

1975-01-01 00:00:00

Navigating & Searching

Navigation tips; use the timeline at the bottom to move through time. Push the 3d button in the left corner to fly though all the posts even faster. Each post includes a link to the full article.

1975-05-10 00:00:00

The Direct Digital Control revolution hit in the late 70s and early 80s

The Automated Buildings evolution follows the growth of the pneumatic control industry for a century seeing the gradual introduction of pneumatic transmission, electric and electronic control. In the mid 1960s electronic control evolved to multiplex control systems that rapidly evolved into head end computers that quickly gave way to mini computers and then it quickly ended with the personal computer and the DDC revolution. The Direct Digital Control revolution hit in the late 70s and early 80s. The use of DDC exploded, greatly expanding the scope of the traditional building automation control market while displacing the traditional pneumatic control industry. The Automated Building Control growth curve went almost vertical. The period between mid 1980 and mid 1990 saw the growth of many new control companies. These new companies were able to bring low cost, high functionality, proprietary protocol control systems rapidly to the market place. By the mid 1990s the cost of DDC was much lower than the cost of pneumatics. This rapidly fuelled the replacement of pneumatic controls and the expansion of traditional and non-traditional automation markets. About the mid 1990s the BACnet movement began to gain momentum and a few systems were built around the evolving standard. At a similar time our industry started to follow closely the Lon revolution that was occurring in other industries. Standard protocols had become something the industry wanted to achieve. Slowly but surely the proprietary communication standards were being driven back and replaced by standard communication protocols.Enter story info here

1975-06-01 00:00:00

Evolution of Information Technology

Description of evolution of communications methods from proprietary, flat protocols to open, object-oriented information models. Simultaneous with this development, a parallel evolution has been taking place in the Information Technology realm. The 1970's were the years of the mainframe/dumb terminal architecture. The 1980's saw the birth of the PC. The 1990's brought networked PC's with client-server architecture. In the late 90's and early 00's, (due largely to the explosive popularity of the internet) we're seeing a return to the 70's style approach relabeled the "thin-client architecture." Dumb terminals have been replaced with web browsers. Mainframe computers have been replaced with web server farms.

1975-06-10 00:00:00

Godfather of BACnet Mike Newman His_Story and Mine

40 years of evolution in Building Automation The first computer dedicated to monitoring building systems was installed in 1974 or 1975. In an attempt to capture some of the history of building automation I have prepared this page connecting to resources that provide good recreational reading of how industry evolved in Mike's eyes and mine over the last 40 years. Mike started working at Cornell about the same time I was working as a young consultant with my company Sinclair Energy Services Ltd for the University of Alberta, Canada. We were working on their first DDC system called Remote Control and Monitoring System RCMS.

1975-08-10 00:00:00

Local History of our DDC Industry

Several British Columbia start-ups that are now highly successfully international companies owe their start to a team of visionaries, who were focused and were resolved to get high performance controls in BC I was recently reminded of the fun we had in the past helping create the Direct Digital Control industry in British Columbia. It was the best of time with the best of folks. It was a revolutionary time when the building automation industry was just starting to evolve from pneumatics to the newly rapidly evolving microprocessors and the concepts of DDC. The solutions were many and everyone was working on their next big thing. These recently evolved DDC solutions needed to be organized into substantial products and the then British Columbia Buildings Corporation (BCBC), a crown company wanted to buy this local technology but needed to change traditional purchase policies while including and helping grow the traditional building automation industries. BCBC's Jack Meredith, Director, Technical Value, Tom Hartman, Hartman Company, myself and a few others, focused on the concept of a Operator Control Language "OCL" which was an enabler for us all to achieve Hartman's dreams while solving a myriad of existing building operational problems.

1979-01-01 00:00:00

Modbus is a serial communications protocol

Modbus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Modbus is a serial communications protocol originally published by Modicon (now Schneider Electric) in 1979 for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Modbus has become a de facto standard communication protocol and is now a commonly available means of connecting industrial electronic devices.[1] The main reasons for the use of Modbus in the industrial environment are: developed with industrial applications in mind, openly published and royalty-free, easy to deploy and maintain, moves raw bits or words without placing many restrictions on vendors. Modbus enables communication among many devices connected to the same network, for example, a system that measures temperature and humidity and communicates the results to a computer. Modbus is often used to connect a supervisory computer with a remote terminal unit (RTU) in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Many of the data types are named from its use in driving relays: a single-bit physical output is called a coil, and a single-bit physical input is called a discrete input or a contact. The development and update of Modbus protocols has been managed by the Modbus Organization[2] since April 2004, when Schneider Electric transferred rights to that organization.[3] The Modbus Organization is an association of users and suppliers of Modbus-compliant devices that advocates for the continued use of the technology.[4]

1984-01-01 00:00:00

Digital Addressable Lighting Interface

Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) is a trademark for network-based systems that control lighting in building automation. The underlying technology was established by a consortium of lighting equipment manufacturers as a successor for 0-10 V lighting control systems, and as an open standard alternative to Digital Signal Interface (DSI), on which it is based. DALI is specified by technical standards IEC 62386 and IEC 60929. Standards conformance ensures that equipment from different manufacturers will interoperate. The DALI trademark is allowed on devices that comply with the current standards when manufactured. Members of the AG DALI (founded by Philips lighting in 1984) were freely allowed to use the DALI trademark until DALI working party was dissolved on 30th March 2017[1]. Since 9th June 2017, Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA) certifies DALI equipment[2]. DiiA is a Partner Program of IEEE-ISTO.

1990-01-01 00:00:00

A History of KNX

Getting Started (1990 – 1992) The History of Success began on the 5th of May, 1990 in Brussels, Belgium • 15 well-known European manufacturers of the electrical industry founded the European Installation Bus Association EIBA KNX Association International Page No. 3 April 13 KNX: The worldwide STANDARD for home & building control • Their idea was to make electronic installations with Bus Technology fit for the future

1999-01-01 00:00:00

What is the Internet of Things?

In 1999 Kevin Ashton, then at P&G, coined the term ‘Internet of Things’. It was a new term, but not a new operation. It was known as pervasive computing, ubicomp, and ambient intelligence. The 90s database storage was too expensive. It is the Cloud, operational from 2000s, that enables #IoT. Buildings, cars, consumer products, and people become information spaces. We were entering a land where the environment became the interface, where we must learn anew how to make sense. Making sense is the ability to read data as data and not noise. Still this is the challenge we face today.  Why would we want an Internet of Things? We want it because it can offer us the best possible feedback on physical and mental health, the best possible resource allocation based on real time monitoring, best possible decision making on mobility patterns and the best possible alignments of local providers with global potential. Operationally this means that we can define Internet of Things as the seamless flow between the BAN (body area network): wearables, LAN (local area network): smart home, WAN (wide area network): connected car, and VWAN (very wide area network): the smart city.

1999-01-10 00:00:00


In 1999 the communications protocol (then known as LonTalk) was submitted to ANSI and accepted as a standard for control networking (ANSI/CEA-709.1-B). Echelon's power line and twisted pair signaling technology was also submitted to ANSI for standardization and accepted. Since then, ANSI/CEA-709.1 has been accepted as the basis for IEEE 1473-L (in-train controls), AAR electro-pneumatic braking systems for freight trains, IFSF (European petrol station control), SEMI (semiconductor equipment manufacturing), and in 2005 as EN 14908 (European building automation standard). The protocol is also one of several data link/physical layers of the BACnet ASHRAE/ANSI standard for building automation.

1999-05-10 00:00:00

Internet Comes to Building Automation

Ken Sinclair reports on how Internet connectivity is set to change real estate, facilities management and the buildings automation and systems integration industry. This article was a first wake up call as to how significant coming change is going to be in the future.

1999-05-15 00:00:00

HTML for Building O&M

Any building with a DDC system that has a computer workstation interface has all that is needed to begin using HyperText Markup Language (HTML) for Operations & Maintenance documentation. This article explores the advantages of making that change as soon as possible, introducing the concepts of linking, searching, remote access, mixing graphics and text, password security, etc.

1999-07-01 00:00:00

Control HVAC per Demand with Network Control

Thomas Hartman explains how network-based control can improve HVAC energy efficiency and comfort performance in the variable speed era. With network control, you can set the speed of the device according to actual requirements of all the loads served rather than to meet a static pressure or temperature setpoint.

2000-03-01 00:00:00

Ethernet Arrives

John Petze, currently with SkyFoundry and, at the time, VP Product Development with Andover Controls Corporation, wrote in March 2000 that “Ethernet running TCP/IP is the protocol to bet on for open systems going forward. In effect, Ethernet has become the new "utility."

2000-03-12 10:57:17

Wi-Fi Past, Present & Future

The invention of WaveLAN, 20 years of Wi-Fi and the dedication of the IEEE milestone plaqu

2000-05-01 00:00:00

Java and Building Automation Systems

Jim Butler and Keith Corbett of Cimetrics posit that BACnet and Java are complementary and they explore the use of Java for control systems. The article illustrates Java programs that communicate with BACnet devices. Java's technical challenges in this context are also evaluated.

2000-09-01 00:00:00

BACnet or LonWorks?

Respected industry author John J. "Jack" McGowan provides a primer here for system integrators deciding between the BACnet™ and LonWorks™ system communication protocol standards. Now that the market has settled on these two DDC network standards, the opportunity to achieve open systems and to leverage off-the-shelf technology and the worldwide web is at hand. However, there is still the challenge of choosing between these communication options. The author recommends close consideration of interoperability goals. Interoperability can be viewed as a continuum with levels: Connecting, Sharing and Substituting.” The article explains these levels and emphasizes that HVAC specialists need to expand their scope when evaluating interoperability, taking into account the interoperability levels possible with equipment used for fire alarms, security, vertical transport, office automation, etc.

2001-05-01 00:00:00

Online Training & Education Effort Launched

As reported by Ken Sinclair, the challenge of keeping up with all the new IT and Communications technologies impacting the job of the buildings automation/control system integration professional is confounding a percentage of the industry. and Engineered Systems magazine committed to working toward freely providing educational content digitally. What they have to learn to understand today's Building Automation industry is written on a curve that appears as a wall layered with every control technology we have ever invented. Without reference to how we came to be here it is just that, a wall. The last layer may be the only chance we have of explaining ourselves. Information Technology or IT solutions abound and everyone must learn the power of browser-based presentation to move forward. The ability of browser-based media to allow us to move in multi directions rapidly at our own pace is the tool we need to analyze the information wall.

2001-05-01 09:34:10

Revolutionary Automation Trends in Large Buildings

In May 2001, Ken assembled 11 trends that he saw were catalysts for the rapid evolution of large Buildings Automation. To provide more detail on those trends, he extracted and edited content from articles published on the web site. The list presented in this article provides reference to each key article so if you wish more insight you can read the complete article.

2001-11-01 00:00:00

BACnet in AutstalAsia

This interview with Jim Henry, Founder and current chairman of the BACnet Interest Group – AustralAsia (BIG-AA), recounts high interest in the standard through the Asia-Pacific countries. Henry reports that in 1999, Alerton, Automated Logic, Delta, and Simplex cooperated to put on a full day forum on BACnet, at which both Mike Newman and Steve Bushby, (respectively, the then Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the BACnet committee) gave lectures. BIG-AA members followed up with lot of presentations to consultants and large clients. Recently, he made trips to Korea, Japan and China in response BACnet momentum there.

2002-01-01 00:00:00

Information Model: The Key to Integration

Eric Craton and Dave Robin of Automated Logic Inc. point out the need to adopt XML and Web Services Architecture for building information modeling in this article. It was a call to action: "If we do not take control of the data presentation of our dynamic information, the IT Industry will."

2002-01-01 21:22:41

Web Services Puddle

Ken Sinclair first heard about web services XML at the AHR Expo in Atlanta 2001 in a brief meeting with Eric Craton and Steve Tom of Automated Logic, held in the hallway of the convention centre. Eric explained his vision of how web services would change everything, but that many conventions needed to be established by the IT industry to make it really useful. Automated Logic’s early entry into web-based control with a full java platform allowed them to provide a strong lead in how web services might unfold. In January 2002 Eric helped Ken create a web services forum on the web site.

2002-08-01 00:00:00

Guide to Web-Based Facilities Op's

In this supplement, the editors of offered a guide to good operating principles, updated for the Internet Age. The guide offers instruction and insight on topics like understanding and utilizing Web features, establishing accountability networks, online energy accounting with immediate feedback, web-based knowledge management systems, and defining success indicators. It captures the key advantage of moving to browser-based access: “Web-based presentation of dynamic building information allows not only operators to operate from anywhere with full functionality, it allows interaction of contractors, equipment suppliers, and consultants to provide valuable feedback and feed-forward information to the building operating equation. Upper management can also participate by having browser-based bottom line screens that provide the dynamic proof of the success or failure of building performance.”

2003-04-01 00:00:00

oBIX Launch

In April 2003 at BuilConn in Dallas, Texas, the XML/Web Services Guideline Committee - started the work that is now known as oBIX. oBIX stands for Open Building Information Xchange, and it is an industry-wide initiative to define XML- and Web Services-based mechanisms to present building systems-related information on TCP/IP networks such as the Internet. Read the December 2003 interview with Paul Ehrlich, Chairman of the oBIX committee at the time, to understand why the buildings automation community launched this initiative.

2003-05-01 00:00:00

Energy Web Services - the Next Step

John J. "Jack" Mc Gowan defines the term ‘Deep Integration.’ In contrast to the “shallow" integration evident in a communication interface that provides only a subset of the points in a given controller and allows little or no access to control logic, ‘deep integration’ means to drill down to interact with the control logic. Also, a systems integrator ‘going deep’ is writing control logic to not only interact with HVAC control sequences, but for the other systems as well - fire, access and video surveillance. Web services that represent the convergence between Information Technology (IT) and Building Automation enable the ultimate in Deep Integration for comfort, energy management, security and other functions that support the customers' mission.

2003-06-01 00:00:00

Controlling for Comfort

Thomas Hartman was one of the pioneers in the development and implementation of control algorithms for the effective monitoring of space conditions in all areas served by a VAV zone. He recognized early that it was essential to permit occupants to register comfort preferences for multiple office "subzones." He recommended that a temperature sensor be installed in every separate occupied space within any building and that a method of control be implemented that recognizes and incorporates the space temperature of all occupied spaces in the operation of the HVAC system. He was among the first to explain that this approach pays off big in terms of comfort enhancement. Prior to the advent of network-based controls, system integrators could not employ more than a single temperature sensor for each terminal zone. The web and network-based controls changed that paradigm.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

CABA Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council

Barriers to the growth of the building automation industry were identified in a document known as the Technology Roadmap for Intelligent Buildings researched by the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). In 2002, as a direct result of this roadmap, a number of Canadian government departments funded the formation of the Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council (IIBC), and put it under the management of CABA. The IIBC started with a core group of about 15 members, and grew to include some 170 members working in 5 Task Forces by mid 2004. Task Force achievements by that time included publishing a Building Control Network Protocols whitepaper and a Best-Practices Guide for Evaluating Intelligent Building Technologies. Another team was tasked with developing a Life Cycle Costs Analysis Tool. In the August 2004 interview with IIBC leader Thomas J. Lohner, a VP of TENG Solutions, more can be learned about IIBC activities and progress. In the November 2005 article he updates the IIBC vision regarding Valuation Tools.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

Your Building is An Enterprise

Brian Jones, of the S4 Group, writes about integrating IT infrastructure (hubs, routers, switches, UPS systems, etc.) with non-IT services such as building automation, factory automation, and process control systems. He illustrates that such convergence increases efficiency, improves quality and decreases costs in areas which have not been part of integrated enterprise business processes. His article examines the integration process.

2003-08-01 00:00:00

Where Does Security Start?

John J. "Jack" Mc Gowan writes that, “In a post 9/11 world, security is not an appendage but an integral component of facility management. It begins with design and includes a host of Internet-enabled technology for access control, video surveillance, machine vision, "whole building" system integration, wireless networking, cybercrime data protection and more…. Energy and security are integral components of next generation building automation systems, along with the Internet and Local Area Networking technology. The key for energy industry professionals is to ensure that system effectiveness is not compromised through implementation by organizations that are not buildings experts. IT professionals are driving to acquire market share in the building automation industry, yet the next generation of integrators must have proficiency in building, security, HVAC and IT. In summary, owners and engineers must ensure that integrators have the requisite skills to successfully implement automation for energy management and security without compromising data integrity.

2003-11-01 00:00:00

Marketing Convergence

Ken Sinclair teams with Jack McGowen and Anto Budiardjo of Clasma Inc. in the creation of a special digital publication about ‘Marketing Convergence.’ They write: “We cannot wait until convergence occurs and then get involved with how it gets marketed, because it will be too late; the marketing plan will not include our industry. Our industry's presence in creating a marketing convergence plan changes everything. We as an industry bring new concepts and tools to the convergence table in the form of "real time information." Our industry's business is collecting, acting on, and distributing real time data such as temperature, pressures, energy usage, client comfort, humidity, IAQ, video, security card ID’s. As an industry we are just starting to grasp the concept of how this realtime data converges with our clients' information enterprise. Our clients are also just starting to discover how information that is presented easily (and anywhere) can be extremely useful for enterprise growth and for staying competitive.

2004-01-01 00:00:00

Ethernet: the Common Thread

Jason Sprayberry, Digi International, compares Ethernet to “a phoenix rising from the ashes” to solve the interoperability challenges of integrators faced with adding legacy equipment like protocols, mediums and connectors to a new building automation architecture. He writes, “Ethernet is a low cost, high speed, widely deployed, universally accepted medium for local area and wide area networks. When layered on top the TCP/IP protocol, you have the initial ingredients of an open, more easily integrated system.” His article covers the perceived shortcomings of Ethernet for building automation and the ways some device server vendors are equipping their products to overcome these connectivity concerns.

2004-03-01 00:00:00

What is M2M?

In this interview Ken asks Glen Allmendinger, President of Harbor Research, Inc., to define this new term. The response: M2M is 1) a set of technologies and applications that permits devices, people and applications to engage in a continuous dialogue. 2) A set of applications that permits the automation of updating, repairing, replenishing and monitoring remote devices and assets and 3) An approach that complements and enhances service and support operations. Allmendinger observes that M2M is allowing companies to wake up to the concept of "smart services" such as services that collect actual evidence that a machine is about to fail, or that a customer's supply of consumables is about to be depleted, or that a shipment of materials has been delayed, and so on.

2004-05-01 00:00:00

Connecting the Dots

The purpose of this article is to provide a history, connection and insight into many of the valuable resource articles on the XML (extensible markup language) / Web Services movement as it has impacted the large building automation industry. Automated Logic's early entry into web-based control with a full java platform allowed them to provide a strong lead in how web services might unfold. So this article starts by quoting Eric Craton and Dave Robin’s article from January 2002. Ken also collects the contributions of CABA. “CABA provided shelter from the political storm by providing a non-HVAC organization that crossed over several major related industries such as Lighting, Security but still had a strong connection to ASHRAE.” A useful collection of links to understand community thinking at the time.

2004-07-01 00:00:00

BuilConn and the Buildy Awards

The BuilConn Forum was launched to bring together a new breed of specialized industry professional: the System Integrator. System Integrators combine the power of many computer-based systems in buildings with Information Technology (IT), the Internet and Web Services to increase occupant comfort and productivity. System Integrators apply sophisticated digital hardware, while creating and programming software to make “Convergence” possible. An awards program associated with Builconn, The Buildy, was organized to recognize the best in Integrated and Interoperable buildings. In 2004, The Summit Building located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the Best Integration Project Buildy Award.

2004-07-01 00:00:00

Mom & Pop Want Energy Savings Too

David E. Craven of Andover Controls issues this Wake-Up call to the commercial and industrial facilities industry: “The automotive industry has accomplished a lot over the last 50 years in terms of efficiency and safety. In comparison, we collectively have fallen short in C&I energy conservation and management, and specifically with the small C&I energy user. Few facilities under 50,000 GSF have any level of automation, and automated facilities below 5,000 GSF don’t exist. Being able to lower the bar on installation costs, via wireless networks, while simultaneously being able to embed a whole new layer of applications will eventually make it possible to bring automation to virtually every component in every electro-mechanical system in any building. The driver for doing so will be energy. Your basic Mom & Pop deli, the local dentist, the branch bank or the retail proprietor will only be able to afford automation if it comes to them in the form of an embedded appendix of those products they rely on to conduct their basic business. Their HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems etc. Oh, and by the way, the man-machine interface and networking of these devices to an IP connection will need to be as simple as unpacking the box, connecting the 110 and Internet.

2004-12-01 00:00:00

Niagara Appliance Program from Tridium

Announcement of the Niagara Appliance Program, the first time Niagara hardware, software, and professional services were bundled together and offered to equipment manufacturers who wished to enable communications to their devices and offer integration with other building systems. The M2M (Man-to-Machine/ Machine-to-Machine) capabilities provided via Niagara Appliance enabled remote diagnostics and troubleshooting of equipment, and provided a more efficient means of operating and maintaining equipment systems. “This program makes it easy for manufacturers to Internet-enable their products”, said John Petze, Tridium President and CEO. "In addition to meeting market demand, manufacturers are finding that they can offer revenue enhancing, value-added services with their products." Prominent manufacturers including McQuay International and SQUARE D have already taken advantage of the Niagara Appliance program.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

The Zigbee Revolution

In this interview with William Sandoval, he introduces Zigbee to readers. Zigbee is a short range, low-power wireless communication protocol specifically designed for small building devices such as thermostats, lighting controls, ballasts, environmental sensors, and medical devices based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard 802.15.4. At the time, Sandoval was Business Development Manager, Digital Systems for Philips Lighting Electronics. Prior to joining Philips, he worked at Lutron on the first lighting automation system in the industry. Zigbee ignited new thinking in its ability to conserve battery, facilitate two-way communication among devices. It also opened a new door to the flexibility and benefits of interoperability. The concept was to keep the standard open to reduce the costs and risks associated with building the technology into devices.

2005-05-01 00:00:00

Corporate Enterprises Are Forever Changed With Real-Time Building Information

Real-time information is creating a revolution that is changing the direction and purpose of the corporate enterprise. Decision makers need to feel (measure and sense conditions), see (video conferencing, Web cameras, etc.), and hear (voice-over IP, cellular phone, pagers, etc.) what is happening in all corners of the managed domain. To illustrate the trend, Ken Sinclair brings together three cases in point: 1) an article about a company integrating building security with human resource records 2) an interview with Paul Ehrlich, the principal of a new consulting company focused on helping building owners to centrally manage groups of buildings and to connect building systems to business systems in the interest of energy management and 3) a case study about how real-time data delivering value to the owners of commercial food industry facilities who have started to capture and analyze data streams coming from temperature logging, drive-through timers, soda fountain monitors, DVR cameras, sign and lighting control, power monitoring, and climate systems control.

2005-08-01 00:00:00

Every Building Project Needs a CTO

In this mid-decade article, Thomas J. Lohner strips down the definition of ‘Intelligent Building’ to the basic technologies and essential communication infrastructures that - if designed, budgeted and implemented with the right oversight, planning and engineering - can make standard buildings considerably better and smarter than they currently are. From his vantage on the CABA Integrated and Intelligent Building Council Task Force No. 3 – Defining the Life Cycle Costs of Integrated and Intelligent Buildings - and a VP of a top-tier continental system integration firm - then TENG Solutions, now exp Global - Lohner has the background and experience to ask the existential questions: Why is it that data from these open protocol based sub-systems is not routed onto a corporate, or a property management Internet Protocol (IP) based network, as an industry standard? Given the prevalence of the Internet, real-time data transfer and web browser-based user interfaces, why are our buildings managed in a reactive, “wait-until-it-is-a-problem-or-broken” fashion? We see fragments of technology being implemented for individual building sub-systems, but nothing that seems like a well orchestrated plan.” This article is not only a call to action, it lays out the steps.

2005-11-01 00:00:00

CABA Intelligent & Integrated Buildings Council

IIBC leader Thomas J. Lohner, a VP of TENG Solutions updates the IIBC vision regarding Valuation Tools for Intelligent Buildings.

2005-11-01 00:00:00

What is an Intelligent Building

According to Paul Ehrlich of the Building Intelligence Group, Intelligent Building Design is the “use of technology and process to create a building that is safer and more productive for its occupants and more operationally efficient for its owners.” In a two-part series Ehrlich breaks down the project components including budgeting, site selection, whole-building thinking, i.e. integrated design, project negotiation and value engineering, construction processes and facility operations. The series is a great primer on all the parts and players that must come together in a new construction or energy retrofit project for the system integration audience. It also includes one of the first mentions of the USGBC LEED rating system to appear in

2005-12-01 00:00:00

Tridium Announces the JACE-2®

Lower in cost and with a smaller footprint, the JACE 2 introduces a new modular design and an expansion slot for easy plug-in of accessory devices. The JACE 2 was a welcome response to demand for a controller/server that met the needs of smaller facilities, remote sites and integration challenges that were best met by multiple controllers. System integrators made good use of its up to 64 points of local I/O for direct interface and control of legacy equipment.

2006-01-01 00:00:00

@ the 2006 AHRExpo

In Ken’s “Virtual Value Visions’ Session at the 2006 AHR Expo, he talked about how success is dependent on stepping out of the comfort zone of our industry and entering into the convergence industry. He explains “The new convergence industry is built on virtual values that exist only in software but bring great value to our clients. The convergence industry will lead us to new solutions and new ways whether we are part of it or not. Trust me, we all do want to be part of this exciting new era. My December ES Building Automation Column “Guess Who's Coming To Dinner” and January column “The New Kids on the Block are Giants” talk about Cisco and HP entering our arena. This is a very positive step for our industry but it is the harbinger of a new era, it is no longer about horsepower it is all about change and successful convergence. Do not fear change, embrace it. These giants will need all the partners they can get to help define our virtual value future.” Great stuff…and still true today (thought some of the giants have changed.)

2006-01-01 00:00:00

GridWise Constitution

The historic and groundbreaking GridWise Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia on December 6-7, 2005, and assembled those with the will and the vision to move this important endeavor forward. Our contributing editor Anto Budiardjo help organize the event and contributing editor Jack Mc Gowan sits on the DOE GridWise Architecture Council and the Energy and Power Management Technical Advisory Board

2006-05-01 00:00:00

oBIX Unbound: Web Services Standard Complete

Aaron Hansen, Chairman of the oBIX XML Standards subcommittee and Tridium spokesperson, reports that the standard is available for public review. He explains that oBIX is much more than just a way to describe points, historical trends and alarms. “It is an extensible model that describes other models - a meta-model. oBIX allows control vendors to fully describe their proprietary systems and allow enterprises to discover non-standard data and invent new applications for it.” Read Hansen’s description of the oBIX Architecture.

2006-05-01 00:00:00

ZigBee Alliance

Bob Heile, Chairman ZigBee Alliance, describes the composition and goals of the global ecosystem of companies formed around the ZigBee wireless communications protocol. In an interview with Ken Sinclair he describes how the technology is finding wide deployment in a variety of sensor and control applications. According to Heile, “Within a couple of years many major commercial buildings will be using the technology for lighting, HVAC, security and safety systems resulting in huge savings.” An advantage of the standards-based solution is that it gives building owners the freedom to buy from multiple sources. ZigBee also enables solutions to be both AC powered and battery powered. An objective of the ZigBee Alliance is to ensure that all products bearing the ZigBee logo will work as stated. Heile predicted then that as the network technology becomes more dominant, commercial buildings will see a number of features and benefits that will change the way we look and think about building construction, operation and maintenance, all the while providing building occupants a better experience and safer environment.

2006-11-01 00:00:00

NetZero "Building as Power Plant”

Edward H. Brzezowski, P.E., LEED AP Director of Engineering The Ferreira Group is doing some very interesting work with Net zero Buildings. I feel the below web pages tell the story better than words. Clicking on the page icon below or the URL under each will provide dynamic data.

2006-11-01 00:00:00

Enterprise Energy Management Systems

Jack McGowan notes a renewed focus on automation for energy management with the advent of Web-hosted software. He sees a future where Smart Grid technology will be integrated via standards like oBIX with EMS Smart Building technology to evolve a smart enterprise. The driver according to McGowan is the relentless volatility in energy costs which will make this technology essential to help building owners control costs without sacrificing the vital work that must be conducted by their occupants. He pulls together all the evidence for these trends here.

2006-12-01 00:00:00

Moving Toward a Sustainable Building Industry

Thomas Hartman challenges all the professions that comprise the buildings industry to unite as a positive force and together employ the principles of sustainability to fight against the perils of global warming. He then gets specific about what can be done such as 1) joining the Green Building Movement 2) getting involved in Conservation Programs and Public Policy, particularly working toward conserving more energy in the operation of existing building stock 3) and - a particular call to action for Engineers, Contractors, Manufacturers and Property Managers - work to solve those forces inhibiting fast and widespread adoption of energy efficiency project work such as Design Variations, Procurement Problems, Lack of Continuity and imbedded inefficiencies in their own processes and interactions. It’s a well conceived and well articulated manifesto.

2007-01-01 06:52:21

Utilities Need to Get Onboard

In a four-part series of articles, Thomas Hartman looks at how ASHRAE, the HVAC Industry, the Buildings Industry at large, and the Utility Industry need to change to get on solid footing to take their rightful role as a unified and leading force for sustainable energy use. He observes, “Sustainable design and operation of our building stock is not presently compatible with the current value equation of this industry. Utilities make their money by selling more energy, manufacturers by selling bigger and more expensive equipment, contractors and designers are paid by markups or percentages of that equipment. Doing more with less simply means less money for everyone in our industry according to the value equation now in use.” The series is followed up by an interview with Ken Sinclair in March. Hartman offers reasons to be optimistic that change is happening and he calls on individuals to become more personally active. His rallying call is as relevant today as ever.

Smart Building Automation Evolution

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